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design

By Sarah Carpenter

Tap Handles Why you need them and how to design the perfect one

There are so many options today for creating tap handles that are out of this world. But don't fall into the “Tap Handle Trap.” What's the “Tap Handle Trap?” Glad you asked. The Trap is when a brewery focuses too much on how awesome they can make their handles without considering consumer behavior and a marketing strategy. Even if your design includes a giant gorilla climbing up a glow in the dark skyscraper carrying a rotating disco ball that plays Saturday Night Fever songs and shoots confetti every time the bartender draws, it's nothing more than a novelty item without a tie-in to your beer style and brand. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Why should you invest in tap handles for your beer? Tap handles are a favorite added value item for distributors and sales reps. Craft breweries are continuing to pop up all over the country, creating a competitive atmosphere. As a result, your brand has the task of not only trying to make your beer stand out to customers, but also to distributors and sales reps. Because tap

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CRAFT BRAND AND MARKETING

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

handles are a proven method for connecting with consumers at the bar, adding a functional, well-designed tap handle to your package will make your brand an easier sell to bar owners. This could be a significant advantage in the effort to put your beer at the top of their distribution list. Tap handles are both functional, attention-grabbing, and a chance to show a glimpse of your brand's story. Picture yourself walking into a bar that serves beer. Whether it's the local dive or attached to a 5-star steakhouse, the row of tap handles takes center stage. It's one of the first parts of the bar your eyes go to, and, because they at eye level a customer's eyes will continue to explore them while hanging out at the bar. This scenario presents an opportunity for you to take a bartending accessory and make it a customized piece of branded artwork, showcasing your brand and promoting your beverages. Now that you know why you need a tap handle, it's time for the next hurdle. How do you design a tap handle that stands out amongst the competition?

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